Breathing is something we do throughout our lives without thinking much at all, but give it a second thought and you may be able to achieve much more!

There are so many ways in which we use our breath. Inhaling, Exhaling, Holding your breath, sighing, blowing, puffing etc. All of which serve a different purpose in our life.

I often get asked how do I breathe in a chest stand.

It occurred to me one day when I was filling my car up with petrol, that the way in which I was breathing had changed. It had changed in a way that restricted my inhale as if I was limiting the fumes I was taking in. Inhaling just enough to keep me from fainting but not too much to fume out my body. Funnily enough, I use this breathing technique when I practice contortion and in particular chest stands.


Breathing techniques change in many situations. If you’ve ever attended a yoga class, breathing is one of the main focuses in which allows you to connect with your body. In stressful situations, breathing deeply can calm you down and ground you. When puffed from cardio training, finding a rhythm in breath can get you through the workout.

In the position of a chest stand, the flow of oxygen is limited due to the throat being pressed against the ground – in some skeletal circumstances. 3 things to consider is, 1. Place the chin on a thin block to allow space for the throat, 2. Shrug the shoulders forwards as to make a tripod (chin and shoulders on the floor) or 3. learn to be calm and breathe in shallow breaths.

Back bending is different for everyone. Some people experience fear and anxiety when extreme bending, and others are not phased by the experience and if anything enjoy the pain of back bending (like me). Before you begin back bending, make sure you are extremely well hydrated (3 days worth of hydration) and are in the right mind frame!
1. Calm
2. Warm
3. Hydrated

So, here is how I personally breathe in a chest stand.


I take a big breath in and out before I begin. This calms me and allows my body to get a big intake in before the shallow breaths start. When I begin my chest stand, my nose is the only way oxygen can enter my body and I take very small shallow breaths aiming for the oxygen to hit my diaphragm area. I use the exhales to deepen my shape little by little.

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